HomeSC WIL Online Leadership CoursesElected Office CourseLesson: Your Online Presence

Does your current online public record put your best foot forward as a candidate?

Think about you and your family’s safety, privacy, and what the content says to a potential voter.

In this lesson, we’ll help you take inventory of your online presence so you have a public profile that consistently communicates your passion and purpose for service.

Richland County Councilwoman Chakisse Newton shares how to take an online inventory. (8 min. 48 sec. watch)

Exercise: Inventory your online presence

Part 1 – Review what you’ve posted on all of your social media accounts – really comb through

  • Is the public record you’ve created for yourself exactly what you want it to be now?
  • In the accounts section of Twitter, you can request an archive of all your tweets, the rest you can go through all your posts and pics manually
    • Are there any photos that you wouldn’t want an employer to see?
    • Are there any statements in retrospect you wish you hadn’t made? Think about what each post might be saying to a potential voter.
    • Have any of your posts offended others? How do you feel about them now? Know what you said and how you’ll respond if asked.
    • Have you posted private info – home address, phone number, social security information
    • Are there posts you’ve written or retweeted that are simply not accurate?
  • If you find posts you want to delete: delete them! TweetDeleter and Twitter Archive Eraser can help. If you’re going back and forth on whether or not to delete it: delete it.
  • Even deleted posts will likely exist somewhere.

Part 2 – Privacy settings

  • You can and should create public social media and email accounts and be shared widely and openly
  • Private accounts should stay private – go into each platform and tighten your privacy settings
    • Audit your friends and followers lists and make some hard choices
    • Invite people to follow your public account to stay in touch and delete them from your private accounts.

Part 3 – Do a deep Google search of your name in quotes

  • Set up a Google Alert
  • Don’t be shy to ask organizations or people who posted something concerning  or that you would like taken down to do so. 
  • Knowing what’s out there is important, but it’s equally essential to be able to respond
  • Don’t overlook reviews from customers of your service or reviews you’ve posted

Additional Resources:

Richland County Councilwoman Chakisse Newton on using your network to amplify your online presence. (59 sec. watch)
Richland County Councilwoman Chakisse Newton discusses personal vs. public profiles on social media. (3 min. and 56 sec. watch)
Richland County Councilwoman Chakisse Newton on how to transition friends/followers from a personal to a public social media profile. (3 min. 10 sec. watch)

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